Andrew Collins Newsletter Vol. 12 No. 1 (May 2009)

The Death of John Michell (1933-2009)

It was with much sadness that I learnt of the passing of John Michell, a visionary and writer who helped inspire my place in life. The author of books such as The Flying Saucer Vision, The View Over Atlantis and City of Revelation, he created some kind of divine order out of topics that only ever seemed loosely connected in anyone else's eyes.

UFOs as archetypal experiences, the rebirth of the ley line, divine intervention in the mathematics of monuments such as Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid and Glastonbury Abbey, and the sense of the existence among ancient and indigenous cultures worldwide of a binding force, an earth energy, that permeated everything and inspired the ritual landscapes of stone and earthen monuments left behind by our megalithic ancestors.

For me, reading The View Over Atlantis in 1979-1980 brought into focus everything I believed in at that time - UFOs, ghosts, ley lines, a power in the landscape, and a connection between humanity and higher existences. Having trained as a UFO investigator and paranormal researcher for many years, I now wanted to dedicate my time to what had become known as the "earth mysteries", a pseudo-scientific discipline inspired by people such as John Michell. What is more, John was always around to inspire truth seekers, since he was a regular guest at annual events such as the Ley Hunters' Moot in the 1980s, and then the crop circle conferences of the 1990s (John had a huge passion for crop circles, and forever sought meaning in their existence).

I got to know John for the first time in 1981. I attended an inaugural meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) at his bohemian-like residence in Powis Square, West London. It was at this meeting that I first met my good friends Caroline Wise and Johnny Merron, and so it was quite fitting that I should be in their company when, just prior to delivering a talk for RILKO (the Research Into Lost Knowledge Association) in London on April 24th, I was informed of John's sad death earlier that morning. He had been Professor Emeritus of RILKO, an organization that also owes much of its philosophies to John Michell.

My talk for RILKO was on The New Circlemakers, and it featured John Michell and Allan Brown's work on a remarkable crop formation that appeared mysteriously in a field at Crooked Soley, near Hungerford, Hampshire, in late August 2002. It bore very unique characteristics that had been highlighted in a book by Brown and Michell entitled Crooked Soley: A Crop Circle Revelation, published in 2005. It was for this reason, along with my own friendship with John, that I decided to dedicate my lecture to his memory.

There is much I will remember from our meetings at his home, and our get togethers at "moots" and conferences. However, one statement he made to me long ago shall never be forgotten.

Having just read my latest book, he turned to me and said: "Andy, you don't just come up with new ideas, you create whole new subjects of interest". This is arguably one of my greatest compliments to date. John Michell will be sorely missed by everyone, and particularly me. If his name is new to you, go check out The New View Over Atlantis, the revised edition of The View Over Atlantis. You will not be disappointed.